Quotes of Author: Noel-piper
Thinking of birthdays raises an important question. Some of our most significant events – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals – honor particular people. At those times, how do we demonstrate that God is at the heart of every celebration? Can we honor God appropriately while focusing so much attention on people? How do we keep God at the center? We can answer those questions in various ways. Paul said, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Ac. 17:18); “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36). Through Him we have birth and life and every thing and every person in our lives. So God is the reason we have anything to celebrate. He is the ultimate source of our celebrations. As we read in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” When we realize that the child, spouse, the life, the friends, the family are all gifts from our Father, it makes every celebration a “thanksgiving” day, a time to express our heart of thanks to God. Saint Augustine said something that might help us when we worry that making much of a person might somehow be competition for our love of God. “For he loves Thee too little who loves anything together with Thee, which he loves not for Thy sake.” In other words, as my husband explains, “If created things are seen and handled as gifts of God and as mirrors of His glory, they need not be occasions of idolatry – if our delight in them is always also a delight in their Maker.” Thinking about a few special days might help us see how much this truth can play out.
Reference: Treasuring God in our Traditions, Crossway, 2003, p. 65-66.
Memory is the mother of traditions. Almost all of our special days are celebrated because they remind us of something significant in the past… Our celebrations are occasions to look back and remember what God has done in the world and in our lives.
Reference: Treasuring God in our Traditions, Crossway, 2003, p. 64.
God wants us to remember to see Him in the most mundane parts of our lives (Dt. 11:19). And what we see, He wants us to talk about with our children. When that level of significance is added to the ordinary repetitions of life, a tradition is created.
Reference: Treasuring God in our Traditions, Crossway, 2003, p. 24.